I love checking out new bike infrastructure, and so I was keen to see the freshly sealed rail trail from Ferny Grove to Camp Mountain.
This former railway line was the scene of the worst rail incident in Queensland’s history, almost exactly 69 years ago. 16 people died and dozens were injured.
The train was charted by federal government workers keen to celebrate that Labour Day with a picnic out at Cedar Creek in Closeburn.
It was absolutely laden with people — over 200 — and the driver had never driven that route and on descent into Camp Mountain the train was going too fast and derailed on a tighter bend.
And our route today took us right over the top of that fateful journey. Just about 50m before we turned left onto Camp Mountain Road was where all that awful shit went down. Back all those years there was a train station at that intersection. It is pretty wild to think how things have changed so much in just the living memory of my grandparents.
Anyway. Just while I am feeling philosophical, I should note this ride was a bit like “Waiting for Scotto.” He was meant to meet us at Lifecycles but when he was late Mark texted him and it emerged he had only just left his house way over in Annerley.
We decided to roll away, going slow, and let him catch up. But that was a bit hard cause these were rubbish roads with a lot of traffic so you just naturally want to get through them as fast as possible. But we only had to “Wait for Scotto” for about 15 minutes. Mark started doing laps of the carpark. That looked like fun so I joined him. Benny practised track standing.
Eventually he arrived, looking resplendent in his new Pedla kit — and we rolled on.
So here was where the rail trail started:
The new pavement has been a tiny bit controversial — as some people loved the dirt and grass and naturalness. And I get that, but if it makes people ride bikes more or just exercise (it was pretty crowded with walkers), then that is a good thing in my book.
We didn’t see any horses to yield to it should be said. Horses seem to be on the very top of the rail-trail food-chain.
Just cause I have been so neck-deep in gravel these past weeks, and have far more on the horizon, I decided to pick out a tiny bit extra on this ride. First was this dead end street traverse:
Then there was this dodgy next section which I had researched on Google Maps, but it was just a hunch that we could get through. Scott and Benny were a bit ahead and naturally missed it because it was hidden down this tiny grassy path obscured by this massive “End of Road” sign.
And they rode left up the bitumen before they realised we were all waiting for them to notice we had stopped. When they saw the route Ben said, “Well that was obvious”.
And this section, though short, had some super-treacherous sandy sections. And the last bit I lost it and did a half crash. I managed to unclip both legs and stay semi-upright. I don’t think it counts as a crash — but my sandy rear-derraileur attests to the fact the bike at least went totally sideways:
Here’s a shot of Ventura smashing through the last of that shitty section:
And here is a shot of a puppy. This is for my fiancé, Dee:
Next was the main road again and then up the Goat Track. Here’s Ventura again:
Scott and Ben talking new bikes
At the top we gently rolled on to the Cafe. Cake-time!
There were several things to note here:
- On the way to the Goat Track we saw a kid heading in the opposite direction getting motor-paced by a guy on a scooter. (“That’s weird”, we thought.)
- Then as we were waiting for our coffee’s and food we saw the same kid and the scooter roll past. This time the kid was ahead of the bike and Ben said, “Look, he’s dropped him!” And it seemed this kid had smashed it to Samford then back up the mountain. Impressive.
- There was a random roadie sitting next to us and he knew the kid from the Coot-tha Burn last whatever. His name is Sebastian Something. He’s only 16.
- Another teenager then turned up in a very expensive sports car with a very beautiful date. They didn’t stay long and then the two tried to leave. But the poor kid seemed to have no idea how to work the car and took a few minutes and a few gear crunches and even more engine stalls to reverse and then eventually head down the road back to Brisbane. I was too embarrassed for the douchecanoe to even look.
Back to Brisbane and Ventura had a mechanical and so I suggested we fix it at my place. It was a great chance for Scott to be horrified at my lack of, and poor organisation, of my tools! oh well.
It was a good ride. Legs still feel sore from Boonah, but they are getting better. Just need to remember how to suffer more.